Most people long for or have an image of a true love that they nourish or search for all their life.
Depending on the level of consciousness, true love can mean something completely different for different people.
On the level of the physical well-being, love is the satisfaction of vital sensual needs and the expression of bodily pleasure and vitality on the base of an intimate relationship.
If there is a distortion on that level, sexual love turns into sex addiction or sexual dependency. In such a case you see the other as an object of your satisfaction. In sex addiction you satisfy your need for bodily stimulation, in sexual dependency your need for affection.
On the level of personal well-being you care for what is best for you and what makes your life fulfilled. The task on this level is to acknowledge and truly love yourself with all your strengths and weaknesses.
If you do not know or appreciate your own value, you make yourself dependent on the appreciation and love of others. You need others to fill yourself not on the sexual level as before but on the emotional-mental realm. You demand appreciation, identity and self-confidence. You enter the relationship as somebody who needs love rather than somebody who is willing to give love.
On the interpersonal level, you look for somebody, who compliments you, stabilises your self worth and satisfies your needs. According to the law of attraction you fall in love with somebody, who looks for the same.
The dilemma is that two dependent people who are attracted to each other for the satisfaction of their dependency needs are not in the position to fulfil each other’s wants. They cling to each other like two burrs, without being able to give each other the nourishment of true love that each one longs for. The frustration of the lacking fulfilment leads to anger and hate.
Some spend their whole life playing this game of love and hate. Others separate and look for a better substitute. Usually the exchange ends in the same drama, if you refuse to unfold your potential.
If you on the personal level have found to yourself and you know your value, you also recognise and acknowledge it in others. When you are satisfied with yourself you don’t request the other person to change for your own sake.
On the contrary: You will support him/her to unfold his or her potential. You stand back, if necessary, or you stand at his/her side. You share your strengths and weaknesses, allow yourself to be vulnerable and in that way deepen the intimacy of the partnership.
The “yes” to the other person is a necessity to provide the safety to master a crisis together. The relationship is an instrument of growing together, and growth means an imbalance in time. This imbalance however does not endanger the relationship, but releases the potential for creative solutions.
The ability for an intimate relationship and an open and fair dispute forms the core for a co-operation within larger circles of people. The perspective on the social level expands from the cell of the pair relationship or family to the social orders, which furthers the social well-being of all.
Through your abilities, your engagement or your love, you strengthen your neighbourhood, your job or organization, which you have joined. You work together on goals, which serve the preservation of life and the common whole.
If true love means to you, that the other should mother and protect you, you will on this level look for a community that might fulfil your needs. This even more so if a couple relationships has not satisfied you. The community becomes a mother substitute.
Instead of synergy you experience the fight around attention, lack of respect for other community members, hidden power struggles, and the defence of privileges
When you reach the level of ethics or principles will you be able to differentiate the different levels with their options and challenges. This level enables you to distance yourself from yourself.
In practice this means, that you can observe, like a neutral observer how you have handled the options and challenges of love on the different levels of development, and what kind of thought forms and behaviour may even today hinder you to give and receive true love. As you are not completely identified with your own thoughts and responses anymore, you can choose how you may best overcome the obstacles.
If your partner for instance would like more room for himself, you will not simply react with fears of loss and trying to hold the partner, but you observe the responses in you and you use your competence to develop another way of dealing with such situations. With the consciousness of the fifth level, you attain the freedom to direct your thoughts and behaviour in such a way that it leads to your chosen goals.
If you integrate all that you have learned on all the levels, you become an embodiment of true love that spreads to all people. This feeling of universal love is the all-encompassing feeling of compassion that Buddha spoke about. It is the wish to ease the suffering of people helping them to understand the transitory nature of this world
Each level has its own qualities and challenges, and it will take time to come to terms with them.
For a more comprehensive description and a hands-on manual on how to move towards true love, check out my Ebook: Beyond Suffering
Dr. Ulla Sebastian is a well-known author, trainer and psychotherapist. Her work spans a wide range of themes for professional and personal growth. Using forty years of research, work with thousands of people from all over the world and a lifelong experience of self growth and transformation, she supports people to transform negative life patterns into an empowered and fulfilled life. Visit her website visioform for free courses, distance courses, books, ebooks and articles